Quitclaim Deed

A quitclaim deed offers the least assurance of title. It offers no warranty of any kind. It says, in effect, “I don’t know what kind of title I have, but whatever I have is yours.” If the transferor has nothing, then he or she transfers nothing, and the transferee will have nothing when the transfer is complete. On the other hand, if the transferor has complete title, then the transferee will receive that complete title in the transfer. Between spouses in divorce, a quitclaim deed is probably the most commonly used.

Statutory Warranty Deed

A statutory warranty deed offers a limited form of warranty. It says, in effect, “I don’t know what kind of title I have, but I promise that I have not transferred anything to anyone else. I’ll protect you from any claim made that I have made such a transfer, and I’ll compensate you if it costs you anything. Between spouses in divorce, a statutory warranty deed is probably the most preferable form. Saying as it does that the transferring spouse is warranting that he or she has not made an unauthorized transfer, it gives the transferee comfort without forcing the transferor to warrant circumstances he or she can’t control.

General Warranty Deed

A general warranty deed offers the most assurance of title. It says, in effect, “I promise you that I have good title to this property and that after this conveyance, you will have good title to it. If somebody says I didn’t transfer good title to you, I ‘warrant’ that I will defend you against any such claim. A general warranty deed is rarely used between spouses in divorce.

See also…

Buying and Selling Property